FACT: PN is pledging to remove rental subsidies for pre-1995 contracts.
Proposal number 22 of the PN manifesto promises to unwind the subsidy given to all those with rental contracts before 1995. This because it argues that for those earning up to €40,000 the current subsidy will be tapered off gradually over a period of three years and then removed.
At present all those with such rents are given a permanent subsidy. Not just that but the subsidy is also available for the dependents of the tenant for a period of five years. This provision has given peace of mind to tenants, while at the same time striking a balance between the interests of tenants and landlords.
The Government acts as a guarantee for both sides, providing a subsidy that enables both to enjoy their rights.
But all this will disappear with the current PN proposal. The effect of this proposal will be that landlords will be incentivised to increase rents substantially so that their tenants would not be able to continue renting the property when Government starts to taper the rent subsidy.
Over 10,000 tenants could end up out of their homes.
Over 10,000 tenants could end up out
of their homes.
Moreover, perversely the PN proposal is limited to those with an income of less than €40,000. This means that the current subsidy regime would be left unchanged for those earning more than this amount.
In this way tenants with higher incomes will be afforded more protections and subsidies than those with lower incomes. Truly the reverse of what social policy should be all about.
Prime Minister Robert Abela spoke clearly against this PN proposal, giving his guarantee that he will do his outmost so that this proposal never sees the light of day. Instead, he argued that a Labour Government would continue to strike a balance between tenants and landlords.
He said a Labour victory on the 26th March was the only guarantee for tenants to remain protected by the legislation he introduced and which would be removed by an incoming Nationalist administration.